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Washington D.C. Real Estate Market Trends in 2019

Regardless of location, the housing market responds to demographic and economic factors. However, since the recession, the economy has been the largest influence on the industry. In Washington D.C. the key elements to keep an eye on are selling price, inventory, and interest rates.
Regardless of location, the housing market responds to demographic and economic factors. However, since the recession, the economy has been the largest influence on the industry. In Washington D.C. the key elements to keep an eye on are selling price, inventory, and interest rates.

Industry experts predict housing affordability issues will remain among the top concerns in 2019 fueled by rising mortgage rates. The days of the frenzied market are over. Therefore, sellers should be more competitive when pricing their home. Higher interest rates may cause home buyers to delay their decision to purchase. The good news is that buyers don’t need to feel pressured to place an offer since the competition will not be as tough.

The supply crunch is expected to ease up in 2019 as inventory levels are expected to rise 10 - 15%. The increase will primarily be for homes priced $250,000 or higher and especially for newly built homes.

D.C. cost of living is one of the highest in the country, however real estate appreciation is known to break records. Home values appreciated more than 37% between 2005 and 2015, and the current appreciation rate averages 6.22% annually.

2018 started with higher home prices, however, mortgage rates were historically low. Nevertheless, the housing market in 2019 will be characterized by continuing-to-rise mortgage rates and increased demand by millennials. In fact, according to Forbes, millennials will account for 45% of new mortgages compared to just 17% of Boomers.

2019 Real EState Market Forecast for Washington D.C.

Washington, D.C. has many unique neighborhoods. And there is always something new to learn about and experience. The nation’s capital is home to over 600,000 people and the modest population growth continues to place a strain on the already limited housing inventory.

D.C. is the seat of government for the most prosperous country in the world. Therefore, it has a stable economy because of the lucrative and steady jobs. High-paying federal jobs are held by nearly 27% of the residents and the median annual wage for a federal worker is $84,153.

The recent announcement by Amazon to locate HQ2 in the region will have little impact on the supercharged local housing market. Although gradual, the demand for housing in the area will progressively increase, and be dispersed throughout the region. The Fuller Institute study also indicate that most of the new residents, an estimated 13,000 people, will move to Fairfax.

The median home value in Washington D.C. is $579,200. The local home values have increased 3.8% since last year and is expected to rise another 3% over the next year. For those who prefer to rent, the average you’ll pay is $2600. The total number of homes currently available is 10% lower compared to February 2019. That's 1% fewer homes than a year ago.

Regionally home prices remain steady, despite the fact that supply is falling short of the demand. Prices are not rising as fast as they did last year and buyers are gaining some leverage with sellers. Until recently, sellers have held the upper hand in D.C., however buyers are turned off by aggressive pricing. Therefore, homes are selling quickly, and buyers are more likely to encounter multiple offers. Homes are on the local market for only 18 days, which may be the result of the low housing inventory.

When is the Best Time to Sell a House in Washington D.C. in 2019?

The best time to sell a home in the D.C. area contrasts other parts of the country. Nationally the best time to sell a home is between May 1 and May 15. However, according to a new study by Zillow, you should list your home in D.C. one month earlier for best results. By putting your home on the market between April 16 and 30, your home will sell in 18 days and at 1.1% higher. Statistics show that the longer a home is on the market, regardless of location, the harder it becomes to sell.

Depending on the source, some believe the best time to sell in D.C. is during the fall. Prices are generally lower and the competition is not a factor because most people look for homes in the Springtime. An experienced local agent can help you determine the best time for you based on your personal preference and anticipated market trends.

A Competitive Market Analysis (CMA) reports on market indicators such as, number of current

listings, pending contracts, and the selling price of homes sold. This report is key to ensuring your home is priced competitively and will attract serious buyers. The CMA is also a great tool to justify your listing price.

When is the Best Time to Buy a House in Washington D.C. in 2019?

The best time to buy a home in the D.C. region is based on a number of factors. If you have a family with school-aged children, ideally you’d want to purchase and move into a home during the summer-break months, or between June and August. Summer time competition drives up the prices, so prepare yourself to pay for the convenience of buying during warmer temps.

If the top priority is to have plenty of options to choose from, then you’ll want to shop for a home when there are plenty on the market. Generally, Spring is when most new listings

are added to the market. Fortunately, inventory remains steady throughout the summer and then starts to drop in the fall. The lowest available inventory is in the winter.

Next Steps

Whether you’re buying, selling or both, the first item on the to-do list is to partner with an experienced local agent for effective guidance and advice throughout the process. From knowing the right time to understanding how to negotiate on your behalf, finding the right agent gives you the best possible chance of a favorable outcome.

Clever will connect you with a knowledgeable local agent who will answer your questions and address all your concerns. Just fill out the form today, and get free access to one of our full-service, local Partner Agents.


Jamie Ayers

Jamie is the Director of Content at Clever Real Estate, the free online service that connects you with top real estate agents and helps you save thousands on commission. In the past, Jamie has managed columns for clients in a variety of leading business publications, including Forbes, Inc., CEO World, Entrepreneur, and more. At Clever, Jamie's primary goal is to provide home sellers, buyers, and investors with the information they need to successfully navigate the ins and outs of the real estate industry.

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